Martin Skrelunas

Recent Articles

‘They Need To Be Separate’: Town Officials Weigh Future of Human Services’ Vine Cottage Home

Should their current base of operations be sold or otherwise offloaded, the municipal employees who work out of Vine Cottage on Main Street likely could not re-locate into Town Hall due to the sensitive nature of their jobs, officials say. Members of the Human Services Department “feel very strongly that they need to be separate from the Town Hall because of confidentiality issues and the clients that they are dealing with,” according to Penny Young, co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee. “And that is why they were not incorporated into this redesign of Town Hall,” Young said at the committee’s most recent meeting, held Sept. 28 at Town Hall. “So that needs to stay uppermost in our mind, is their function and their need for being separate from Town Hall.”

It isn’t clear just where the department, whose staff includes senior outreach and social workers, would move to if displaced from Vine Cottage. Continue Reading →

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Committee: 20 Percent of Space in Town-Owned Buildings Is Currently Unused

About 20 percent of space in town-owned, non-district buildings is now unused, and another 25 percent need major repairs, officials said last week. Just what the town should do about that empty space, and what capital maintenance it should invest in, are major questions facing New Canaan, according to Amy Murphy Carroll. “I think everything jumps out to you with just the amount of square footage that is vacant,” Carroll, a co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee, said during the group’s Sept. 28 special meeting. “And I will throw this out: I mean if things are not needed—and ‘need’ is a relative thing—sometimes it costs money to own more and the cost to tear down is not going to go down,” she added at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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‘I Have To Say It’s Disgusting’: Town Committee Member Slams Waveny Pool Locker Rooms

The locker rooms at Waveny Pool are dirty, smelly and stuffy, and some of those who use the popular facility end up elsewhere as a result, a member of a town-appointed committee said Thursday. Their poor condition “has been brought up before,” according to Christa Kenin, a member of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee. “I have tons – having spent the last six summers there, pretty much every single day—have a lot of knowledge on this matter, and there is a general great dissatisfaction with the locker rooms,” Kenin said during the public meeting—the committee’s first in three months—held at Town Hall. “I have to say it’s disgusting,” she said during the two-hour meeting. “I hate to use that word. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

Police and wildlife officials helped free a fawn that had become trapped last week between the metal poles of a fence in a Ramhorne Road yard. The New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section at 10:29 a.m. on July 17 responded to a report that an injured fawn was stuck inside a pool area at a residence there. The young deer clearly had been injured in some way and its hair could be seen on the poles of the fence, between which it had squeezed through to enter the yard, according to Officer Allyson Halm. When a landscaping professional showed up and frightened the animal, it became stuck again trying to get out. The fawn likely had entered the yard when it was younger and smaller, and tried to get back in by habit. Continue Reading →

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Town Officials Seek Details on Nature Center’s Finances, Use of Buildings

[Editor’s Note: After hearing concerns from someTown Building Evaluation and Use Committee members that their comments had been taken out of context, we added a full and unedited audio file from this portion of the public meeting to the top of this article.]

With an eye on prioritizing capital maintenance and spending, officials say they’re seeking detailed information from the New Canaan Nature Center about how the organization’s various programs use the town-owned buildings that form its campus. The Nature Center uses one set of books for its entire business–including financially successful enterprises such as camp and a popular nursery school—though it isn’t clear just now whether capital investments earmarked for the Oenoke Ridge Road campus are commensurate with those revenue-drivers, according to members of a committee that’s studying town-owned buildings throughout New Canaan. “What we are trying to do is find out whether there is an opportunity for the town to use resources better, and then make informed decisions about where we should do that,” Amy Murphy Carroll, co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee, said at the group’s most recent meeting. “So for instance, the gift shop—there is a revenue line for that of X amount—it’s really pretty minimal and there is lot of space for the gift shop,” Carroll said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Appointed in February, the committee’s members also include Penny Young (co-chair), Ben Bilus (secretary), Neil Budnick, Bill Holmes, Christa Kenin and Martin Skrelunas. Continue Reading →

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